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Outspoken Evie, with a voice so endearing and provocative that it will make readers pause often to think, quickly discovers in this witty debut that high school is full of biased rules, abuses of power and a lack of civil liberties.... Readers will never look at high school - or life - the same. ―Kirkus Reviews
What happens when a girl, homeschooled by her counterculture mother, decides to spend her senior year in public school? First friendship, first love - and first encounters with the complexities of authority and responsibility.
Evie is different. Not just her upbringing - though that's certainly been unusual - but also her mindset. She's smart, independent, confident, opinionated, and ready to take on a new challenge: The Institution of School.
It doesn't take this homeschooled kid long to discover that high school is a whole new world, and not in the way she expected. It's also a social minefield, and Evie finds herself confronting new problems at every turn, failing to follow or even understand the rules, and proposing solutions that aren't welcome or accepted.
Not one to sit idly by, Evie sets out to make changes. Big changes. The movement she starts takes off, but before she realizes what's happening, her plan spirals out of control, forcing her to come to terms with a world she is only just beginning to comprehend.
J.J. Johnson's powerful debut novel will enthrall readers as it challenges assumptions about friendship, rules, boundaries, and power.
Outspoken Evie, with a voice so endearing and provocative that it will make readers pause often to think, quickly discovers in this witty debut that high school is full of biased rules, abuses of power and a lack of civil liberties.... Readers will never look at high school - or life - the same.
Having inherited rabble-rousing genes from her ultra-liberal mother, homeschooled Evensong Sparkling Morningdew, who would rather be called Evie “for obvious reasons,” isn’t about to be a passive student when she tries out public school during her senior year. She is shocked by the institution’s conditions— “disgusting” bathrooms, no sunlight, and Styrofoam dishes in the cafeteria—and appalled by the faculty’s abuse of power. When her objections are ignored, she and two friends create a blog to encourage other students to speak up about injustices. The blog creates a stir, and as Evie’s peers jump on the bandwagon to point fingers of blame... Offering a thorough examination of the pitfalls of protest and revolution in terms teens will understand, this smart first novel will likely spark discussions about authority abuse and crossing boundaries. Rather than judging Evie’s methods of precipitating change, Johnson reveals a broad spectrum of perspectives through her characters’ differing sentiments, motivations, and opinions. Authority figures, who Evie initially despises, make astute points throughout the novel.
Books about high school tend either to be about peer politics and romance or about the injustice of oppressive adult systems. This book combines both plot types, intelligently and humorously.
Parent's Choice Award Honor, 2011
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